Designing a destination for reliable news

San José Spotlight is the city’s first nonprofit digital news organization. They are independent, community-funded, and dedicated to covering the area’s biggest issues without bias. They came to us on a mission, looking for a partner to build their brand and launch a site that would position them as the city’s go-to source for reliable news.

Award Winning Project
  • Website Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Web Development
  • CMS

While traditional newspapers downsize around the country, the nonprofit model is taking off. San José Spotlight is leading the charge in our city with 520+ new readers in the first year.

Our job was to create a site that not only stands out in today’s media landscape, but improves the way the community engages with the news. They must project an image of trust.

We took a phased approach.

While the Spotlight team worked hard to write the content needed to officially launch, we supported them with a temporary version of their site. A single landing page was a quick solution to providing the online presence they needed to continue promotion and fundraising. It was designed thoughtfully and contributed to brand awareness, but also rewarded both of our teams with time to focus on the larger task at hand—building an infrastructure for the news.

We built the larger site in parallel. It looked sleek, but most importantly highlighted the day’s top headlines and created an easy path to accessing news topics. It also provided information on San José Spotlight itself. Our templates were built to support various types of content, interactive features, and ultimately, long term growth.

san jose spotlight blog web design laptop mockup

Headlines change daily.

With the news, comes a great responsibility for accurate, timely content. To become a credible outlet for San José’s top stories, Spotlight needed a CMS that would support constant updates and a fleet of contributing reporters. Our development team worked hard to meet those requirements and train their staff to use the system against an incredibly aggressive deadline. We worked with them through the launch to QA the details of the site and ensure every bug was corrected so it was not only beautiful, but error-free.

Thank you to the whole team! The site fits our mission perfectly and it’s been a joy working with you all. Your developers went above and beyond to make sure we were ready for launch and we consistently get compliments on the clean, sophisticated design.

San José Spotlight
Ramona Giwargis
Co-Founder & Editor

How do you measure success?

In less than two years, they have achieved the following:


new readers


page views


comments from the community


readers per day